put down (an animal)

put down (an animal)

To end the life of an animal (generally through euthanasia) so as to prevent its suffering in old age or illness, or because it poses a threat to humans or other animals. We decided to put down our dog last week. He was in so much pain from cancer that we felt it would be cruel to let him struggle on. Animal control ended up having to put down the bear once it was spotted roaming the neighborhood for the third time in recent months.
See also: down, put